Tuesday, March 19, 2013

POLB Monthly Cargo Volume Up Sharply

Port of Long Beach terminals saw a dramatic increase in cargo in February, moving nearly 37 percent more containers compared to the same month one year ago, including an almost 46 percent surge in imports and a 17.2 percent jump in exports.

February’s total was 530,967 TEUs, with 279,144 TEUs being imports, the highest volume of import containers for a February since 2007. Exports rose to 140,626 TEUs during the month.

Empties were up 44.2 percent to 111,197 TEUs. With imports exceeding exports, empty containers are sent overseas to be refilled with goods.

The port is attributing the increase in Trans-Pacific trade in part to the Lunar New Year holiday, which can slow goods production in many Asian countries that export to the U.S. The holiday is determined by the lunar calendar and in 2012 started in late January, which affected February 2012 numbers.

This year, the holiday was in mid-February and its effects are likely to be reflected in March statistics.
Also, cargo increases in recent months are in part due to the more frequent use of larger ships and the addition of service lines to Long Beach. In the latter part of last year, two of the world’s largest ocean carriers, Mediterranean Shipping Co. and CMA CGM, established exclusive hubs at the Port of Long Beach.

For the port’s fiscal year, which began last Oct. 1, Long Beach has seen a 17.8 percent rise in TEU traffic compared to the same five months in the previous fiscal year.

Full details on the Port of Long Beach’s monthly and annual cargo numbers can be found at polb.com/economics/stats.